We learn as children the power of the sun to burn our skin. Early in the summer, skin pasty white from under the cover of winter clothes, we are ripe for broiling. Looking like little ghosts, we head out into the warm and inviting sunlight, barely covered or almost bare, merrily running around while the invisible rays slowly cook our unprotected skin.
The power of the sun also has an affect on our homes. Besides water, it is the other element that is detrimental not only to the exterior, but to the interior as well. Fabrics fade from extended exposure to sunlight, furniture and floors too. There are instances where the sun can align with another component, most particularly windows, to create a "perfect storm".
Glass can intensify the sun's beam, either reflecting it, focusing it or both. When a ray of light concentrated through the storm door glass shines on to the exterior door, melting can occur. The plastic trim on this door from a recent inspection looks almost like a scene from a Salvador Dali painting.
Upon reflection or because of it, vinyl siding has been found to melt. Newer low E energy saving window glass has a dark side that has been coming to light as homeowners replace their old windows. At certain times of the year, mostly the winter, the sun's light can be reflected off the window glass in an intensified beam onto a neighboring house. If that home happens to have vinyl siding, once again melting can and does occur.
What is clearly apparent, at least to me, is the melting only happens with plastics. Plastic is in some ways almost like wax, you heat it enough it will melt. Which is one of the great and desirable properties of plastic, it can be molded into infinite shapes. Unfortunately vinyl, which is used for numerous products in our homes, has a low melting point.
As the building products industry constantly strives to come up with new and better products for our homes, the sun sits in the sky, waiting to fry someone's new and improved front door.
The battle wages on.
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